A true believer

I like to look at the pictures and descriptions of the various systems belonging to our fellow Audiogon members. Personally I admire the most humble system. But some times I see one that just leaves me shaking my head in amusement.

I was looking at the featured systems today and found one that consisted of three components that reproduced music. A cd player ($7700), a integrated amp. ($4000), a pair of speakers ($10,500). Total $22000. A very nice system. But, and I mean BUT, another $71,431 in cables, tweaks, stands. Things that sometimes in the tiniest increments help in the reproduction of music.

Just saying.
Agaffer, I already have great cables now... Crimson R.M. Music Link cables, one of the very few cable brands on the world market that don't have a sound of their own !
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"Cables are just like religion. Everyone believes they have the right one."

I believe this is a naive statement Elizabeth. I personally don't believe in the "right" anything but to the person that is willing to lay down the green. There are always synergy and taste issues with everything.

I do believe with the majority that so far as putting together a truly musically satisfying system the components should be first and foremost, that is where the major focus should start. The real truth is found in the satisfaction we find in listening to the music we love. Accessories whether they be vibration isolation, room treatments, cables, powercords, upgraded capacitors, tubes etc. can all contribute in no small way towards what we hear.

I've got a system that has essentially the same components for the past 8 years. The foundation was there to build on. The improvements realized (listening enjoyment) to this system has been gradual and significant, a cummulative effect. It is quite satisfying to me to have come to this point without getting the upgrade bug but REALIZING the major components work together no doubt, you know and go from there. This is experience, this is knowing from previous trial and error. It can't be taken away regardless of what others have experienced, you know what you have learned from where you were to where you are. You learn what works and what doesn't. You find out about the snake oil products and the ones that are worth your dollars and you make your choices. It isn't about religion at all, it is really nothing more than a personal journey to find what each of us is looking for. I can't qualify what someone should spend on a pair of cables, or a powercord for that matter. I would only say listen to as many as you can which is what I did and settle for the ones that work best. What works in one system may not in another but if someone is foolish enough to spend a disproportionate amount on cables and powercords rather than spent wisely on the actual components that make the music, its their choice. Possibly knowledge will be gained from such folly. Bottom line tweeking is where it ends, not starts but unless you have gone down this road, don't discount what can be achieved, you might be quite suprised.

I KNOW I have purchased wisely. I could resell my pre-amp, amplifier and turntable easily for what I originally paid. My cd transport a JVC 1050TN I've had for 20 years and its great, paid 800.00 new, solid and dependable. It was highly regarded in its day and still is in my book. My DAC is under 1K new, it is a NOS DAC with a tube output, no opamp, it is simply amazing for the money. I'm sure not ready to plunk down 5k on what I know would be better but not by much. The i.c. and speaker cables would take somewhat of a hit but even then I purchased at a good price, less than retail but I have had them for 6 years with no desire to upgrade, its finished and I am as happy today as when I purchased them. Power cords, 300.00 pair max. each. Speakers are 10 year old Merlin VSM-M that keep rising to the occasion, I might upgrade to the latest Merlin in the future but I keep reconsidering because it is hard for me to believe that the new ones could be too much better than what I'm hearing. The rest of the tweeks including homebrewed bass traps, isolation platforms and vibration control devices, Stillpoint speaker stands my Custom David Berning designed tube BAM to augument the bass frequencies with the VSM have all been money well spent not to mention cap upgrades in my pre-amp along with numerous tube combinations to find the best mix for my tastes and goals.

Tubegroover, thanks for letting us know. I don't know what the question was but, somehow you managed to fill us in nicely.

HiFisoundguy, good choice in cables. Tell us more.

Elizabeth, hang in there, I got it.
Agaffer, it seems to me going reading through the thread that it morphed into a simple observation by you in your opening into yet another thread about cables and their value vs price. I tend to agree in general with this theory. On the other hand I do not believe it is always the case.

The only point I attempted to make is that I "bought into" ic cables that retail for 2,500.00 a 1 meter pair throughout the system. The further point is that they DID make a significant difference (read improvement) after doing numerous controlled comparisons over an extended period of time, years, with cables at different price points. I was willing to pay what I did at the time though it certainly wasn't retail. The part about letting the music through without a signature that was obvious, a clarity that was different than what I had previously experienced, an epiphany moment. Maybe there is something out there comparable to what these cables do in my system at a much cheaper price but at the time I sure didn't find it. I don't consider myself irrational with ANY expenditures, least of all audio, and can certainly afford whatever I'm willing to spend. Again, you put down your money and live with your choices. It always has been less about the gear to me than getting a desired result.